I got into this business by accident. Although I saw myself in the industry, I really wanted to be either a singer or a film director. I wasn’t so much a comic as I was just plain funny looking. Comedy wasn’t something I could see myself doing because I knew how hard it was to make people laugh.
But what a wonderful gift it would be to have – to make people laugh and for a brief moment, be the source and cause of their joy. Dolphy was able to do that. He was able to make all of us laugh and cry. When I was younger, I thought he was a superhero or at least a demi-god. The large silver screen made him a giant that can command these swarms of people to laugh and cry at his will with a few words here and a flick of his wrist there.
I first saw him on those old black and white films that my grandmother used to watch on television in the afternoons when I came home from school. She’d be ironing clothes while watching the box and would almost (ironically) comically drop the iron due to her bursts of laughter. I’d go to my room to change out of my uniform and when I’d come out, she’d be patting her eyes dry with her “punas” because she’s now crying. I never understood that (and seriously considered researching the history of my family’s mental health) until I saw Ang Tatay kong Nanay.
In my opinion, this film is Mang Dolphy’s definitive film although Markova is a close second. His character, Coring is the wonderful blend of flamboyant and subtle or in gayspeak, pamintang baklita. The themes in the movie (shown in 1978 but I saw it when I was in college already.) are true and relevant then as they are now. It was after watching this film that I finally understood why my grandmother laughed and cried.
Paalam, Mang Dolphy. Salamat sa mga ibinigay mong saya sa oras ng kalungkutan. Salamat sa mga aral mong ibininahagi sa aming lahat sa pamamagitan ng iyong mga karakter sa pelikula. Pinaniwala mo kami na kaya naming gawin ang mga bagay na di namin inaakala, pinagsumikap mo kami, pinakita mo sa amin na kahit saan man kami nakatira – along da riles man o sa wonderland – basta ang pamilya ay magkasama walang problemang di kayang bigyan ng solusyon.